DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Mar 20 ( – Just a week after the US Agency for International Development (USAID) landed in hot water over its support of forced sterilization in Peru, US Congressmen are calling for an investigation into USAID’s funding of poor-targeted sterilization in the Dominican Republic. Population Research Institute (PRI), which has assisted Peru and the Dominican Republic in getting their concerns to US legislators, notes that “there is great resentment in the developing world against the US for insisting upon population control as a condition of receiving US foreign aid.”

The controversy began in early February when Kathleen Manatt, wife of US Ambassador Charles Manatt, who is the former head of the Democratic National Committee, said she was pleased that 600 sterilizations had taken place at the Rosa Cisneros abortion clinic – a clinic run by the USAID funded group PROFAMILIA. The Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Nicolas Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez, responded to the news decrying the “USAID death squads.”

PRI reports that “repeated attempts were made by officials at the US embassy to kill a story on the subject that appeared in Our Sunday Visitor.” The story, which appeared March 5,  quotes Cardinal Lopez as saying, “I feel profoundly offended, primarily by the insult of [Kathleen Manatt] coming to this country to do what she doesn’t have to do…. [S]he can do what she wants [in the US], and her government, which doesn’t know much about morality either, can do whatever it thinks…. We want to be poor but honest, we want to accept the truth; we don’t want anyone to come to take advantage of our condition and defenselessness.”

(with files from PRI)


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